It sometimes happens that we commission a terrific illustration that, for one reason or another, can't be used for its original purpose. We never let them go to waste. Sometimes we stare at an illo for a while, decide what concept goes with it, and commission that article from one of our frequent contributors. At other times, we pick a few reliable writers, send the illo to them, and ask what they'd do with it. This month, partly because we're curious to see what happens and partly because we've been staring at this illo for so long, we're opening that process to the world.
The illo in question is the one you're looking at (click on it for an enlarged view). We really like it because it's just so odd, and we were very sad when the intended article didn't pan out. Since then, we've been wondering what to do with it. Now it's your turn to wonder. Stare at it; ponder it; and when you think you know what article would be perfect for it, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject "The Table." You can propose an adventure, a backdrop, a class acts, a bazaar of the bizarre, an ecology of, something for the Demonomicon or the Court of Stars, or whatever else strikes a spark in your brain. Proposals aren't limited to Dungeon just because that's the label at the top of this editorial. In fact, the illo was originally intended for use in Dragon. It's sufficiently unusual that no one should feel too pigeonholed by it.
Submissions should be concise, but there's no specific word limit; use as many as you need to communicate the idea. If your proposal involves game mechanics, include an example or two so we have a basis for evaluation. An outline of what you'd actually put into the article is better than a vague description of the article's theme.
Be sure to include your real name; we don't like talking to email addresses.
We'll contact the top contenders and ask for more fleshed-out proposals before settling on the finalist. As with any article proposal, there will be some back-and-forth fine-tuning between us and the author before everything is ironed out. When it's all done, your article will be in Dragon or Dungeon, you'll be richer to the tune of 7 cents/word, and we'll have found a use for this crazy illo.
You have until March 26 to get your idea or ideas into our inbox. If you send more than one, we'd prefer to get each in its own email.
Fire up the Mountain Dew, the M&Ms, the dried mangoes, or whatever else stirs your imagination, and tell us what this picture is about.